This weekend my youngest and I hitched a ride into the San Francisco Bay area to revel in this year’s Ceramics Annual of America. Last year’s inaugural launch of this epic scale exhibition was a so much fun that my studio mate Bruce and I were literally doing cartwheels through the crowded hall (a bad idea but a whole lotta fun). This was a big event, with big works, in a big space.
This year, the setup was in an even bigger space out on a covered pier the size of a football field… really… and something unexpected happened… the nature of the relationship between the environment and the work became noticeably skewed. In such a large space, the larger works seemed diminished and secondary. The notion of the interplay of environment to work is relevant at any scale, but at this exhibition it really made the point.
With that aside, event was just amazing! A forest of pedestals and free standing walls that were covered in a fresh crop of some of North America’s finest and bravest talent. We spent hours wandering and exploring the works, and best of all, plumbing for insight into the why’s, how’s, and what’s up in studio ceramics by talking to the artists. I gained a very genuine respect for all of the artists that participated…It takes a very brave person to put your work in front of 6000 critical eyes and then stand next to it. That’s taking genuine ownership of your ideas.
I couldn't resist playing "potperotciy", here's just a fraction of what was there...